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  1. #31
    Jesper's Avatar
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    If you want to make the windows lightproof (a strange state for a window) you can put some aluminiun foil between the window panes.
    It is quickly done and metal foil is 100% light proof.

  2. #32
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    In my experience, the major issue is sealing around the door. The solution I found involved two things.

    First, I used oversized door stop. Instead of using the standard, pre-milled moldings from the home center, I cut lengths of clear pine to use as door stop, and made them about twice the standard thickness.

    Second, I applied a strip of felt weatherstripping to the door stop. I chose felt because the rough surface means that it won't reflect light - foam weatherstripping has a smooth surface and is reflective.

    My darkroom is in my basement, and if I leave the light on in the space just outside the darkroom door, I can see a faint glow at the edge of the door stop after the lights have been off for several minutes. I've learned to simply leave that light off.

    I used a suspended ceiling in my darkroom, and I've noticed that there is also a slight leak around the perimeter of the ceiling if that exterior light is left on. It is strange because there is no straight-line path from the light to the point where the ceiling joins the darkroom wall - apparently, light is able to bounce around enough to create just a hint of a glow in a couple of places around the perimeter.

    When I am reloading film holders, I stand with my back to the door and also the area where the light leaks around the ceiling perimeter - shielding the film with my body from the leaks. But I can't do that when processing film - but after processing several hundred sheets of film, I haven't been able to detect any sign of fogging.
    Louie

  3. #33
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monophoto View Post
    In my experience, the major issue is sealing around the door. The solution I found involved two things.

    First, I used oversized door stop. Instead of using the standard, pre-milled moldings from the home center, I cut lengths of clear pine to use as door stop, and made them about twice the standard thickness.

    Second, I applied a strip of felt weatherstripping to the door stop. I chose felt because the rough surface means that it won't reflect light - foam weatherstripping has a smooth surface and is reflective...
    I attached pictures of my light-trap solution in post #15. No seal, felt, tape, foam or any kind of weatherstripping required. I went through all of that until this simple solution was pointed out to me. It's 100% light proof and does not interfere with the functionality or the closing efforts of the door.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  4. #34
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    You may have some things in the darkroom that give off light that needs to be controled if loading film. My timer and thermometer have markings that glow in the dark. Some equipment has led light indicating that it turned on.

    John

  5. #35
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    I find that a dark towel dropped on the floor and pushed up against the door does a good job of blocking the light that can sneak through there. I just get into the habit of adjusting it each time I use the door.

    I've wondered about this "Twin Draft Guard" instead:

    http://www.asseenontvguys.com/index....ROD&ProdID=349

    Matt

  6. #36
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    I use the towel method as well, when I am loading film in there and it's light out.
    f/22 and be there.

  7. #37

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    I do something similar to what the OP is suggesting. I have an open, unfinished basement about 20ft x 30ft and have all my tables and equipment set up in one corner. I have homemade wooden shutters attached to the tops of the window frames with hinges (inside the basement, not outside), and at night I can just flip them down and they do a good enough job. I also have a door at the top of the stairs to the rest of the house that I just leave open; it's perpendicular to the stairs so even if a car should drive by or something very little light can actually reflect down the stairs. I don't use an active ventilation system at all. The only chemical I've got that produces any noticeable fumes is fresh-mixed TF4, with the slight ammonia smell, but that disappears after a couple of uses. Maybe the volume of the space, coupled with the open door is enough to keep it from getting stuffy, IDK, it's just never been a problem for me.

    I seem to remember back when I was getting started that the rule of thumb was: Sit in the darkroom for 5 minutes with no safelight on to let your eyes adapt, and if you can't see your hand when you put it up in front of your face then it is dark enough.

  8. #38
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    I have printed color prints (which is much more sensitive than b+w paper) in light where I could see fairly well with all lights off and had no problems. Just don't leave any paper out and you should be fine.
    --Nicholas Andre

  9. #39
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    This is one of the things I like about APUG. You ask a beginners question, and still get tons of opinions and hints. All in all, it sounds like I can use my basement room after all. I wanted to install a bathroom fan anyway, and the instructions on how to build light traps seems to be straightforward. I will still use my changing bag for working with film, just in case. On that subject, I remember a scene in BBC's Genius of Photography where Tony Vaccaro explains how he developed film in a set of helmets during WW2. No darkroom, no changing bag, just waited for darkness. But that was probably not 400 ASA film back then :-)
    Henrik Lauridsen

  10. #40
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necator View Post
    This is one of the things I like about APUG. You ask a beginners question, and still get tons of opinions and hints. All in all, it sounds like I can use my basement room after all. I wanted to install a bathroom fan anyway, and the instructions on how to build light traps seems to be straightforward. I will still use my changing bag for working with film, just in case. On that subject, I remember a scene in BBC's Genius of Photography where Tony Vaccaro explains how he developed film in a set of helmets during WW2. No darkroom, no changing bag, just waited for darkness. But that was probably not 400 ASA film back then :-)
    Very good. If your highlights end up not quite as brilliant as you like them, and your pictures remind you of battleship gray, you know where to look first. I wish you all the best and welcome to the dark side.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

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